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Strengthening the System

The College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA) is making strategic changes to reduce barriers for applicants not yet registered in Canada to receive permits to practise in Alberta. We are committed to helping strengthen health care in the province.

Our priority is registering applicants who meet the updated criteria for safe nursing practice as quickly as possible.

Why is the CRNA Making Changes?

The College has a commitment to excellence, and as part of that commitment we continually look for ways to improve and innovate our processes to make it as simple as possible for qualified registered nurses to obtain permits.

We want to make it easy for nurses to choose Alberta.

What Are the Changes?

The College is updating procedures and streamlining the application process so that qualified applicants can start working in Alberta more quickly.

Recent changes include:

  • Increased pathway options: Applicants are no longer required to complete a credential review with the National Nursing Assessment Service as the only way to meet the assessment step.
  • New pathway for 94 per cent of applicants: Alberta will no longer require applicants from nine international jurisdictions to undergo a customized credential assessment. The new jurisdictions are the United States, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
  • NCLEX-RN acceptable as evidence of education: Applicants from any global jurisdiction can now meet the education requirement using their entrance exam results.
  • Added opportunities for equivalent education: Alberta will now accept credential reviews from multiple service providers. This is an organization that provides credential assessments for the immigration process.
  • Improved access to the NCLEX-RN exam: Applicants can request to register for the entrance exam with a verification of equivalent education.
  • Precedent-setting improvements: The assessment process for international applicants has been revised and standardized. The new process reduces timelines for assessment by helping applicants to understand what requirements they need to meet before they apply.
  • Practice hours requirements: Applicants may now use hours gained through education, competency assessments, and clinical practice hours within the last five years.
  • Revised methods to show proof of practice: The CRNA has been working with employers to make it easier for applicants to provide evidence of their practice hours.
  • Expedited assessments: As part of our commitment to excellence, the College is continually reviewing our procedures to find efficiencies and decrease the time it takes to process permits.
  • Provisional permits: Registrants may temporarily work under a provisional permit while they prepare to write the nursing entrance exam (NCLEX-RN).
  • Updated English language competency requirements: We added different ways to demonstrate English proficiency.


"The CRNA is committed to ensuring that the application process for all equivalent and substantially equivalent applicants is transformed to enhance the health-care system for all Albertans." Joy Peacock, CEO and registrar